Hot-&-Sour Chicken Noodle Soup
- 140g dried wholewheat noodles
- 1 tbsp groundnut oil
- 2 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 medium red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, chopped into small chunks
- 1 tbsp Shaohsing rice wine
- 700ml hot vegetable stock
- 4 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp cold water to make a paste
- 1 handful beansprouts
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- Bring a small pan of water to the boil and cook the noodles following pack instructions. Drain, rinse under cold running water to stop them cooking further, then drizzle over a little oil to prevent them sticking together. Divide between 2 deep bowls.
- Heat a wok over high heat and add the rest of the oil. When it starts to smoke, add the ginger and chilli, then stir-fry for a few secs. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 2 mins. As the meat starts to turn brown, add the rice wine and cook for 3 mins more. Add the vegetable stock, bring to a simmer, then add themushrooms. Season with the dark soy, light soy and rice vinegar.
- Bring back to a simmer, then add the cornflour paste. Simmer and stir until thickened. Stir in the bean sprouts and most of the spring onions, then ladle the soup over the noodles. Serve immediately, scattered with the remaining spring onions.
- 2 spring onions, ends trimmed off
- 4 tablespoons of frozen peas, defrosted
- 1 courgette, halved with the ends cut off
- 2 slices of ham
- 100g feta cheese
- 4 eggs
- Ask a grown-up helper to switch the oven on to 180C/ 160C fan/gas 4. Snip or cut up the spring onions and put them in a bowl. Add the peas to the bowl.
- Grate the courgette using your rotary grater, one half at a time, then add it to the bowl.
- Cut the ham into pieces with your scissors, if you do this over the bowl it will fall straight in.
- Break the feta into the bowl by crumbling it with your hands.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl and, if any bits of shell fall in, scoop them out with a spoon.Whisk the eggs until the yolks are mixed into the white.
- Pour the eggs into the other bowl and stir. Brush a round ovenproof dish, about 16cm across, with oil. Tip everything into the dish. Ask a helper to put the dish in the oven for 30 minutes or until the egg is set. Serve with salad and crusty bread.
Easy Veggie Biriyani
- 250g basmati rice
- 400g special mixed frozen vegetables
- a generous handful of raisins
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 2 tbsp korma curry paste
- a generous handful of roasted salted cashew nuts
- Boil the kettle. Get out a large microwaveable bowl and pile in the rice, veg and raisins.
- Pour 600ml/1 pint boiling water over the rice mixture and crumble in the stock cube, then stir in the curry paste. Cover the bowl with cling film, leaving a small gap at the side to let out the steam. Cook on full power (850 watts) for 12 minutes – if your microwave is less powerful, add 2 minutes.
- Remove from the microwave and stand, still covered, for 5 minutes to complete the cooking – if you don’t let it stand the rice will be too nutty. Fluff up the rice, scatter with cashews and serve.
Strawberry ice Cream
- 1 x 400g punnet strawberries
- 1 x 250g tub mascarpone
- ½ x 397g can condensed milk
- cones and sprinkles, to serve
- Pull the green hulls out of the strawberries. If they are still quite hard, cut them in half or quarters with a table knife. Tip them into a flat-bottomed dish.
- Use a potato masher to squash the strawberries as much as you can. Tip into a bowl. Ask your grown-up helper to give you a hand if you need to.
- Add the mascarpone and mash this in – don’t worry if it is a bit lumpy. Add the condensed milk and mix everything together. Don’t worry if the mix is streaky.
- Spoon the mixture into a metal or plastic box and put it in the freezer. Wait until the next day or at least 6 hours before scooping into bowls or cones. Decorate how you like.
For the dough
- 450g strong white bread flour, plus more to dust
- 7g sachet fast-action yeast
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 350ml warm water
For the topping
- about 5 tbsp roast tomato sauce (see tip below), or stir together 100ml passata and a crushed garlic clove
- 8 tomatoes (green, orange, red, yellow – all different shapes and sizes)
- your choice of toppings: goat’s cheese (with rind), grated Parmesan or Parmesan shavings, handful rocket,prosciutto.
- For the dough, put the flour, yeast and 2 tsp salt into a large bowl and mix. Make a well. Mix the oil and water in a jug, then tip into the bowl. Use a wooden spoon to work the liquid into the flour – it will seem pretty wet. Set the bowl aside for 15 mins. Leaving the dough like this will save you from lengthy kneading later.
- Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface, flour your hands, then knead it very gently for about 2 mins until it is fairly even, soft and bouncy. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with oiled cling film, then let it rise in a warm place (or in the fridge overnight) until doubled in size.
- When ready to cook, heat oven to 240C/220C fan/gas 9 or as hot as it will go, then put a baking sheet in on a high shelf. Dust another sheet with flour. Split the dough into 8, then roll 3 balls thinly into rough circles. Lift onto the floured sheet. Smear over a thin layer of the sauce, scatter over a few slices of tomato, season, then add sliced goat’s or grated Parmesan cheese if you want to. Slide the sheet on top of the heated sheet. Bake for 12 mins or until golden and crisp and the tomatoes are starting to caramelise around the edges. Top with any fresh toppings, then drizzle with more olive oil to serve.
- 300g dark chocolate, broken into chunks – don’t use one with a high cocoa content
- 200g self-raising flour
- 200g light muscovado sugar, plus 3 tbsp extra
- 6 tbsp cocoa
- 150ml sunflower oil, plus a little extra for greasing
- 284ml pot soured cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and line a 10-hole muffin tin with paper cases. Whizz the chocolate into small pieces in a food processor. In the largest mixing bowl you have, tip in the flour, sugar, cocoa, oil, 100ml soured cream, eggs, vanilla and 100ml water. Whisk everything together with electric beaters until smooth, then quickly stir in 100g of the whizzed-up chocolate bits. Divide between the 10 cases, then bake for 20 mins until a skewer inserted comes out clean (make sure you don’t poke it into a chocolate chip bit). Cool on a wire rack.
- To make the icing, put the remaining chocolate bits, soured cream and 3 tbsp sugar in a small saucepan. Heat gently, stirring, until the chocolate is melted and you have a smooth icing. Chill in the fridge until firm enough to swirl on top of the muffins, then tuck in.
Chocolate Brownie Cake
- 100g butter
- 175g caster sugar
- 75g light brown or muscovado sugar
- 125g chocolate (plain or milk)
- 1 tbsp golden syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract /essence
- 100g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin.
- Place the butter, caster sugar, brown sugar, chocolate and golden syrup in the pan and melt gently on a low heat until it is smooth and lump-free.
- Remove the pan from the heat.
- Break the eggs into the bowl and whisk with the fork until light and frothy. 5 Add the eggs,vanilla extract or essence, flour, baking powderand cocoa powder to the chocolate mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Put the mixture into the greased and lined cake tin and place on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for 25-30 mins.
- Remove and allow to cool for 20-30 mins before cutting into wedges and serving.
- Serve with cream or ice cream and plenty of fresh fruit.